Ride-Hailing Platforms Prioritize Women's SafetyBy MBN Staff | Mon, 11/23/2020 - 12:31
Ride-hailing platforms in Mexico have started to implement strategies to protect the female population against assault or harassment. On Nov. 12, Uber Mexico announced a new feature, Ellas, which gives female drivers the option to accept trips only from women should they prefer to do so, providing greater security during their rides.
This measure, according to Uber, aims to boost economic opportunities for women in the country by increasing their ability to generate income independently while feeling comfortable and secure behind the wheel. For Uber Mexico, women represent 4 percent of all drivers. Their participation grew by 370 percent between 2018 and 2019.
Since the launch of Uber Cash in 2018, which allows Uber users to pay in cash, violence against drivers has increased, according to testimonies from female drivers collected by the newspaper El Mostrador. “When I started working at Uber it was fantastic. You can go and drop off your kids at school and connect to the platform, pick them up and get connected again. It is a very good job for mums. I loved Uber until Uber cash came along, which changed everything," said a female driver in an interview for the newspaper.
This week, DiDi Mexico launched DiDi Mujer, a feature that also allows its female drivers to accept requests only from female passengers. DiDi Mujer is now available in Mexico City, Puebla, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Juan Andrés Panamá, DiDi's General Manager in Mexico, said in a statement that this is the first time that a program like this has been launched in Latin America, except for Brazil. The Chinese firm has already launched similar programs in China, as well. Currently, DiDi has only 4.3 percent female drivers registered, out of a total of approximately 100,000 members. To set up this program, DiDi collaborated with the National Council for Prevention Against Discrimination (CONAPRED) to develop a joint manual to establish action points and protocols to prevent discrimination and gender-based violence.
According to figures from INEGI, 2019 was the most violent year for women in at least 30 years. In 2020, the figures for violence do not seem to be declining. Yesterday, in the annual report of the Declaration Against Violence Against Women in Mexico City, the head of the Attorney General's Office, Ernestina Godoy, announced that there has been no decrease in femicides and that complaints of sexual harassment and abuse have increased by 53 percent since 2019.